AA Rio de Janeiro Visiting School

2011 – 2014



AA Rio de Janeiro Design Workshop

5- 14 April 2011

Complementing the venues associated with Rio de Janeiro’s annual Carnival, 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, this workshop will explore alternative, informal and grass-roots sports and cultural programmes as a way of transforming precarious urban environments and communities and help guarantee a community legacy for these global events. The 10-day workshop will promote a design philosophy that mediates between global and local sensibilities, between formal and informal economies, and between high-tech and low-tech fabrication processes. In contrast to imported and pre-fabricated end-products, it will employ a hybrid methodology, using raw goods (matéria prima) and other found-objects (inspired by the work of artist Ernesto Neto and the Campana Brothers), yet evolving these projects with novel computational-design and fabrication techniques that emphasise the introduction of component-based logics.

The workshop itself will take place almost 40 days after the Carnival, to explore the re-use of the actual Carnival floats, costumes and other related paraphernalia, collaborating with several Escolas de Samba located in the post-industrial empty warehouses of the Porto area, the birthplace of the Carnival and Samba. The recyled Carnival material will be transformed using digital fabrication processes and new digitally fabricated joint components, to create interventions for micro-venues and urban furniture in the Porto region, to support open cultural and sports events that engage the local populations and both counter and complement the large-scale constructions of Olympic sports venues.

Open to designers from all over the world, the studio-based workshop will include extensive parametric modelling, instruction in Rhino Grasshopper and digital fabrication processes using laser cutter, CNC-milling and rapid-prototyping machines, sponsored by DS4 and SEACAM, all of which will be used to produce design proposals and physical models. The workshop will also feature seminars and lectures by both Brazilian and international architects, artists, urban planners and other specialists (working directly with the Carnival float artisans in their workshops and collaborating with the FABberz’ DIA Workshops), and will culminate with the fabrication of one-to-one scale prototypes and a final review within the port and city centre sites.